Hopefully, by the time this issue of The Rake is available, the weather will look
a lot different than it did when you read my inaugural style column in February. If you were to compare the
accompanying illustrations (by the talented Firdaus Ahmed), they would look very different, too. This is down to the
passing of the seasonal torch, of course, which means all those heavy-duty polo coats, tweed sports jackets and 14oz
flannels have been cleaned, pressed and put away, and the cottons and linens in their more vibrant tones have
entered the rotation.
This season, Drake’s have caught my eye with their micro-wale corduroy suit in a biscuity
beige. You might be thinking that that contradicts what I’ve just said above, and in some ways it does, as corduroy
is mostly a winter cloth, favoured because of its heat-retaining properties and heavy handle. Drake’s, however, have
proved with this suit that corduroy can be flexible. Made in Naples, it’s unlined and features a half-canvas
construction and a three-roll-two button configuration with flat-fronted, side-buckled trousers. Easily broken up
into separates, it’s a fantastic, easy-to-wear ready-to-wear suit.
It’s been paired with a shirt that, for me, verges on the adventurous. I wrote last time
that I like to keep things simple, and I do. But this two-tone butcher stripe shirt in a super-fine cotton from
Puglia-based G. Inglese was too great to ignore. When choosing a ready-to-wear shirt for spring/summer, opt for
Italian-made, as they have a greater understanding of the climatical demands of the season, and consistently use
lightweight cottons in fun colours andpatterns. This one is exactly that,
and, with its sartorial details, such as hand-sewn crow’s foot buttonholes, is very special. There’s been a shift
away from cutaway collars recently, but that’s irrelevant. If a collar style suits you and your facial form, stick
with it and ignore the naysayers.
The tie is from Serà Fine Silk, an accessories label based in Milan whose wares are
produced in Como. I clearly haven’t shaken off my affinity to grenadine ties, but the diagonal stripe adds a subtle
pattern clash against the shirt while also holding it all together.
I’ve also chosen Ettinger’s canvas tote bag, which is a style of holdall I’m most fond
of. It bridges the gap between a backpack (which in some ways I’ve grown out of) and a briefcase (which is too
formal for day-to-day use). As such, a tote is perfect for me. Made in England, it has a central zip compartment for
valuables and a leather handle.
Finishing off the look is a pair of Racquet sneakers by the Swedish minimalist footwear
brand C.QP. They’re sleek enough to be worn with tailoring, and as a result of the fairly casual ensemble, work
seamlessly. A brown suede tasselled loafer could easily be swapped in for a formal lift, if circumstances require